Israelis Demonstrate Against Mavi Marmara Attack, Gaza Siege
10,000 Israelis protested the failed Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara and the Gaza siege a few days ago. What struck me especially about the rally was this electrifying speech by Israeli novelist and journalist, Nir Baram, decrying the blockheadedness of the Israeli leadership and the insularity of the Israeli public regarding the suffering it inflicts on the Palestinians.
The conclusion of his speech was especially poignant to me as it presented a glorious vision of what the State of Israel could be–someday:
For the past eight years we have on our table a real peace proposal from the Arab League, a dramatic, unprecedented proposal for a final, lasting peace between Israel and the entire Arab world, which at long last would enable Israel to integrate into the region. But instead of making this initiative a priority on the public agenda, we opt for chasing ships out at sea…
We shut ourselves behind walls telling ourselves we have no other choice. We put one and a half million people under siege in Gaza, convincing ourselves that they want for nothing, and if there’s a bit of a water shortage they should drink from the sea. We intensify and reinforce the Occupation claiming there is no partner. We slight every peace proposal whether advanced by the Arab League, Syria or Abu Mazen, and all the while teach our children our fondest hope is for peace.
We are here to tell Jerusalem’s government of worthless incompetents and racists that we are bound to this place wholeheartedly, and prepared to do whatever it takes to turn Israel into a true, free, and fearless democracy, a home for all of us.
In days past, when there was some hope that the Israeli political system actually worked, such a speech would have marked him for a possible seat in the Knesset. So many in Israel would place such high hopes on Baram’s shoulders. Now, why would any half-way intelligent person want to sit in such a house of fools? Nevertheless, the fact that a Nir Baram exists and has the courage to express these words and that thousands cheer him on–this is enough to make me persevere in my own efforts. We must support the Nir Barams of Israel. They are the last, best hope that there is some humanity that lingers there. That there is hope someday for a peace envisioned in his wonderful words.
Rightists attempted to disrupt the demonstration by setting off a smoke bomb which can be seen wafting among the crowd. Also, the eminence gris of the Israeli peace movement, Uri Avnery, was set upon by a few thugs (I don’t believe any serious harm was done), which is ironic considering that he was nearly killed in a similar ambush attack in the 1960s.
On a different, but related subject, you know Israel (or at least the current iteration of it) has ‘jumped the shark’ when the N.Y. Times’ resident soft-right commentator, Ross Drouhat, compares Israel to the Crusader kingdoms with a perfectly straight face.
19 thoughts on “Israelis Demonstrate Against Mavi Marmara Attack, Gaza Siege – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Thank you Richard, very impressive!
A major part of the sickness we face.
RE: “the sickness we face” – Santomauro
MY REPLY: Thanks for the link. Excellent article!
RE: “America is a nation uniquely built not on blood, race or consanguinity…” – Charles “Chucky” Krauthammer waxing poetic on the virtues of “democratic globalism”
MY COMMENT: Is he insane or just oblivious to “American History”? When he refers to the “nation” of America, he can’t possibly mean the United States, can he? I know he “grew up*” in Canada, but does he actually think that the U.S. was not built on “blood, race or consanguinity”? I’ve never heard such preposterous poppycock in my entire life**! What a delusional buffoon!
* I’m using the phrase ‘grew up’ very, very, very loosely!
**Well, maybe from “Pricky Dick” and the Cu_tessas Cheney…and John “Perfect Red Heifer” Hagee…and Brit “Lord and Saviour” Hume…and Herr Ailes…and Murdoch The Malefactor, of course (to name just a few)
P.S. Urban Dictionary: cu_tessa
A person who is beyond bitchy, who holds themselves above reproach or comparison. Combination of cu_t and countess.
P.P.S. G-d bless Howard Zinn!
well, i guess israel is a bit more democratic than you think
consider what would have happened had such a demonstration occurred in iran
Is that what you believe? That Israel should be judged by the moral standards that pertain in Iran?
That’s so typical of the Israeli right: They always compare themselves to the world’s worst regimes in order to look decent. If you lower your standards enough, anyone can look decent.
The demonstrations in favour of the IDF and against Turkey are also quite interesting and scary
Dear Richard, I couldn’t find your email and I wanted to share something with you, can you please contact me via email. Thanks.
Well, at least all that walking it gives those ‘internationals’ some excercise.
I seemingly slowly start to understand what you mean by “make the world a better place” – ‘Destroy Israel and everything will be fianlly good’. Don’t you agree?
Thank you very much. Maybe fianlly write an honest article about a new ‘final solution’?
If your understanding of me proceeded any slower your mind would work about as slowly as a tortoise moves.
Violating the comment rules w. comparisons of my writing to Nazism has richly earned you comment moderation. The next time you violate the rules you’re gone.
I can speak only for myself, but for me the guiding principle is something like the following:
Make the political elites and the citizens of Israel understand that their state cannot trample on the rights and the lives of anyone they want just in order to prevent the possibility of terrorist attacks. Similarly, they cannot simply jail anyone who may be suspected to be engaged in criminal activity and to impose curfew on those neighborhoods where such activity flourishes — even though “regular” crime regularly kills more Israelis than politically-motivated terrorism. There are such things as individual rights, the presumption of innocence, due process of law, etc. And ultimately, if we want to live in a democratic state which respects human rights, it is better to learn to live with some tolerable level of terrorism and crime than to attempt to eradicate them totally using extreme means.
I say all the above from the viewpoint of my interests as an Israeli. I accept that non-Israelis may have different interests; part of my view is the necessity to recognize and respect the interests — and certainly the rights — of other people.
“10,000 Israelis” Funny, I was in the area and it seems significantly less than 10 thousand Israelis showed up to demonstrate… Even Haaretz reports about 6 thousand. Check you facts Richard or you may have to disqualify yourself…
A leader of the Israeli peace movement who was there & has attended hundreds of these demonstrations & prides himself on accurately counting participants wrote me the number was 10-15K. You were “in the area” (what does that mean?) & he was actually there. I’ve got my facts down fine thank you. I think I’d rather disqualify you.
Richard: Did you see the Russian Israelis who came to demonstrate as well? The held up all sorts of signs, not really in the spirit of the demonstration.
so there was a large demonstration against the state and its policies…with no violence and no reprisals
but richard will continue to question whether israel is a true democracy
Yr hasbara is unbelievable. YOu think the fact that the Israeli police allowed a demonstration indicates Israel has a thriving democracy? This is pathetic? By whose standards are you judging what is a democracy? Iran? No. Korea? Russia? C’mon. Can’t you do any better than that?
You seem to be forgetting the smoke bomb & physical assault on Uri Avnery by rightists at this same demo.
are you saying that the right wing counter protesters were organized by the government?
and im judging israel by all other democracies…which allow for the freedom of assembly by its citizens.
and im really getting tired of you calling me a hasbarist…basically cuz those guys do a terrible job at promoting israel
oh…thought you might enjoy some other pictures of the protest….of some israelis who really know what it means to have lived under a repressive regime
[ed., link deleted per comment rules]
I am saying that the right wing protestors and the government have identical views.
Come up with some original thinking instead of tired Israeli talking pts & no one here will call you that. Until you do–if the shoe fits you’ll have to wear it.
The link is pure snark, deeply insulting and off topic. You may think you’re the epigone of wit. But you’re not. If you pull stunts like that again you put yrself right on the edge. Don’t test me. I will pull the trigger on you.
I’ve been a social worker for 12 years. Seen parents behave perfectly when social workers were watching. Seen them fuck up big time when social workers weren’t. Does this make them good parents? Or should they just always behave, without the world watching them?